Spalding men's and ladies' firsts team both lose, contrasting results for Long Sutton men's and ladies' firsts
SPALDING 1STS 5, SUDBURY 1STS 8
There was nearly a repeat of Spalding and Sudbury's 15-goal spree last October when the two teams met again in their Premier B rematch at Glen Park.
But there was to be no revenge for Spalding after their 10-5 loss at Sudbury in what was another end-to-end game with plenty of goals.
The match was in the balance at half-time, with both sides having each scored three times.
But some ill-discipline saw Spalding reduced to ten players for five minutes, opening the door for Sudbury to score two quick goals and give themselves an advantage they never surrendered.
Ultimately, it was Sudbury who continued to put away their chances and stretch their lead out to 8-3 before Spalding scored two late, consolation goals that made the final scoreline a little closer than the balance of play suggested.
Stuart Cunnington and Joe Higgins both scored twice for Spalding whose other goal came from Glenn Richardson.
LONG SUTTON 1STS 1, NORWICH CITY 2NDS 6
Sutton failed to build on their first away win of the season at St Ives 1sts the previous weekend after losing at home to a Norwich side who had won 4-3 in the reverse fixture last October.
The game had started evenly and both sides created chances in what was an open afternoon of hockey.
But just when it looked like Sutton were getting on top, Norwichtook the lead when their trio of fast midfielders created an opportunity which was duly taken by Jonathan Chaney-Baxter.
Sutton's level of performance immediately dropped and the city side sensed blood, eventually carving open their hosts to make it 2-0 through Jim Pallister.
A fightback looked possible when the prolific Josh Baker managed to get a goal back for Sutton when, despite suffering from cramp, he kept his cool to finish well through the keeper.
But the expected fightback stopped there as Norwich soon restore their two-goal advantage through Tom Ling who gave his side a 3-1 lead at half-time.
Any positive teamtalk by Sutton's coaches had the opposite effect to what was intended as a Harry Gill hat-trick put the game beyond the hosts' reach.
Sutton's defeat would have been even heavier had it not been for some good saves from goalkeeper James Cliff.
SPALDING LADIES' 1STS 2, CAMBRIDGE SOUTH LADIES' 1STS 3
An Evie Maltby double helped Spalding push runaway league leaders Cambridge South all the way in this closely-contested game at Glen Park.
Fully aware of their visitors' very tight defensive record, backed up by a rich vein of free scoring, Spalding knew they would have to work hard to get anything from the game.
Unfortunately, Cambridge South fully lived up to their billing, firstly when a short corner was turned in by Alice Wright and then Harriet Walker pounced on a failed clearance to put the Division 2 NW leaders 2-0 ahead.
However, this woke Spalding up and after some great passing play they were awarded a short corner which was expertly put away by player-of-the-match Maltby before half-time.
Determined not to be intimidated by their higher-placed opponents, Spalding started the second half at a fantastic pace and they were level within two minutes of the restart with a second strike from Maltby following good build-up play by the Maplethorpe sisters, Georgina and Charlotte.
A period of intense pressure from Cambridge South followed and despite Christina Dewing making several excellent saves, Spalding's defence were eventually outnumbered which let in Abi Jewkes for the third and winning goal.
LONG SUTTON LADIES' 1STS 3, SAFFRON WALDEN LADIES' 1STS 1
Connie Gittins was the pick of Sutton's stars as a fast start by the hosts was eventually turned into a fine away win.
Lorraine Wallis was called upon early in the Sutton goal to deal with a one-on-one threat before her side suffered a blow when Lauren Cooper had to leave the game due to injury.
Matters got even worse for Sutton when a clash of heads forced Lisa Baker out of the game temporarily.
With two defenders out, Sutton had to make a quick change which saw Jemima Dodd move to left back and Amber Jones fill in at left midfield.
Another save by Wallis, ably assisted by Sutton captain Tania White, was the cue for the hosts to take the lead when Gittins beat a number of Saffron Walden defenders before slotting the ball past the goalkeeper.
The second half saw Sutton start to dominate, with the impressive Gemma Parr clearing up in front of the back four.
With Baker back on the field, Sutton turned round a Saffron Walden attack and a clever ball from Tania White found Amber Jones who played the ball across to Connie Gittins for a reverse sweep second goal.
Jones herself made it 3-0 to Sutton after she was set up by Katie Collingwood-Smith after good work from Jess Burton.
Saffron Walden were stunned into applying extreme pressure on Wallis in the Sutton goal, with the hosts' defence facing a number of short corners.
Despite excellent running by Maisie Sullivan to protect the Sutton goal, Saffron Walden did eventually find the net with a good strike from a short corner.
A further spell of pressure was determinedly resisted by Sutton whose speedy midfield and the non-stop running of Emmy Gittins ensured that all threepoints were theirs.
SPALDING LADIES' 3RDS 3, LONG SUTTON 2NDS 0
Three different scorers gave Spalding the bragging rights in their Division Four NW (N) derby duel against Sutton.
Led by Martha Hoyles, Sutton faced a dynamic Spalding team who were hungry for goals as both their midfielders and attackers looked to dominate play quickly.
Sutton's vice-captain Georgina Synott and Imogen Cooper tried to make inroads for the visitors, while Milly Hastings, Lisa Dean, Terri Bateman and Kelly Tizzano were growing in influence for Spalding.
The hosts eventually scored just before half-time when captain Charlotte Morris gave the nod for Rachel Perkins to direct a short corner towards the post where Morris firmly swept the ball it in.
In the second half, Spalding midfielders Alison Laura Willson and Sharon Amess set up chances for youngsters Georgia Smith, Amy Naylor and debutante Erin McMurray as goalkeeper Christina Dewing was left with little to do.
However, Sutton's Esme Whitelam and Charlotte Walsh combined for a chance that went begging as Wendy Canham and Lucy Smith worked hard to keep Spalding out.
The second goal did come, however, through Spalding youngster Tabitha Dunnett before Terri Bateman collected a good cross in from Willson and made it 3-0.
Kettering 3rds 6, Spalding 4ths 0.
Spalding 5ths 4 (Cameron Roy x2, Daniel Plant, Darren Willson), Bourne Deeping 6ths 0.
Alford Ladies' 1st 2, Spalding Ladies 2nds 1 (Zoe Moore).
Spalding under-14 Boys' 8 (Matthew McManamon-Cookson x3, Oli Dring x3, Oli Baker, Harry Naylor), City of Peterborough under-14 Boys' 1.
More by this authorWinston Brown